Virtual Reality – The Future of Real Estate?

Virtual Reality & Real Estate

Imagine that you are starting the process of buying a new home.  You have done all of the preparation, met with a Mortgage Loan Officer and gotten approved for your mortgage loan and found the REALTOR® you want to work with (naturally you chose me.)  Now you are starting to look through real estate online.

HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset from STEAM - Real Estate
HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset from STEAM

You just happen to have this handy dandy virtual reality headset.  Finding true virtual reality tours of houses for sale in the area that you want to live, you select one of the houses to view and you put on your virtual reality headset.

Instantly you are placed standing at the curb looking at the home just as if you had just stepped out of your car.  You can look up and see the sky,  look in all directions and see the neighbors houses, the street,  you are there.  You can almost smell the flowers blooming in the landscaping, and the fresh cut grass. It is possible to move your viewpoint as if you were walking around the property, you have full control with a 360 degree view.

Time to go inside and have a look around.  You navigate to the front door it opens and you are able to peer into the house for the first time.  Again you are able to look around just as if you were standing there on the stoop looking through the front door.  You step inside and the house opens up to you.  You notice the textured ceilings and walls, you notice beautiful hardwood floors stretching out before you until they meet the stone tile in the dining room and kitchen. Now turn and see that there is a formal living room with large windows that bring the outside in.  There is a large fireplace in the middle of the far wall, and room for your favorite chair right beside it. As you move through the house you are able to view every room and detail just as if you were there.

How much better would this experience be over what we are doing today?

This will be the next major shift in real estate marketing of homes.  This technology will make it substantially easier for long distance purchasing of homes.  It will be almost automatic for home buyers to decide what houses to physically go and view.  When the buyer walks into the home they will feel as though they have already been there.  All they will be doing is making sure that the environment they have already experienced is in deed reality.

My prediction is that this is the not too distant future for real estate.  Virtual reality headsets are starting to become mainstream in the gaming community. There have been huge advances in 360 degree camera technology.  The technology exists today to make this happen.  We just need a software developer to build the software to connect the 360 degree images in the correct flow.  Once that software is built the major home tour companies will latch onto it and start marketing it to REALTORS®.  They will trip over themselves to use this new virtual tour and be the first to offer it to clients.

Home builders will want to offer virtual floor plans to customers. Customers will be able to experience their new home before it is built.   What would it be like if I removed that wall?  How about if that window was a different size?  What if that counter top was granite? Can I have that shower in marble?

The potential for this technology in the real estate world is endless.



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